Barnes & Noble Is Breaking Up

Barnes & Noble announced that its board approved the separation of its retail and Nook businesses.

Along with its fourth quarter earnings release, the company said:

“With the objective of optimising shareholder value, the Company’s Board of Directors has authorised management of the Company to take steps to separate the Barnes & Noble Retail and NOOK Media businesses into two separate public companies. The Company’s objective is to take the steps necessary to complete the separation by the end of the first quarter of next calendar year.”

On a company-wide basis, B&N’s Q4 revenue grew 3.5% against last year to $US1.32 billion.

In its fiscal 2015, B&N expects comparable bookstore sales in its Retail and Core segments to decline by low-single digits.

For its fiscal 2014, the company’s revenue fell 6.7%, and revenue in its Nook segment fell 35.2% to just $US505.9 million.

In the fourth quarter, the company sold just $US25 million worth of NOOK devices and accessories.

It’s been a long time coming for the separation of the businesses.

In February, BI’s Jay Yarow reported that B&N fired its Nook hardware engineers.

In February 2013, the company’s chairman Leonard Riggio announced a proposal to purchase all the assets of the company’s retail business.

Last August, however, Riggio said he suspended his efforts to separate the units.

In pre-market trading, shares of Barnes & Noble were up as much as 7%.

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